You really can find time to exercise. Sure, it’s very easy to come up with a string of excuses as to why you can’t, but when it comes down to it, most of us can honestly find at least 30 minutes a few times a week to get our moves on. And the benefits to our health is worth it!
The Department of Health’s Physical Activity & Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines for Adults states that doing any physical activity is better than doing none. Having said that, no matter how old we are, we should all try and be active on most, preferably all, days of the week.
Adults (18-64 years) should aim for: 150 to 300 minutes (2½ to 5 hours) of moderate intensity physical activity, or 75 to 150 minutes (1¼ to 2½ hours) of vigorous intensity physical activity, or a combo of both moderate and vigorous activities, each week. They should also complete muscle strengthening activities on at least two days each week.
Young people (13–17 years) should aim for: at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity every day. And on at least three days a week, perform activities that strengthen muscle and bone.
Children (5-12 years) should aim for: at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity every day. This should include a variety of aerobic activities, along with vigorous intensity activity. On at least three days each week, kids should engage in activities that strengthen muscle and bone.
Need some exercise inspiration? Here are 30 ways to get 30 minutes of exercise!
Trade 30 minutes of iPad/social media browsing for exercise. It’s amazing how much the time flies when you’re on Facebook, Twitter or similar. Set an alarm on your phone so that you can still browse, but allow enough time to fit in your 30 minutes of activity as well.
If you take your children to the park, walk around the playground‘s perimeter as they play (this way you can still keep an eye on them while getting exercise). Of course, make time to push them on the swing.
Put some money on the line – sign up and pay for a weekly yoga or CrossFit class in advance and you’ll feel more obligated to go.
Follow an online exercise program such as Sam Wood’s 28:28 program, where you exercise just 28 minutes a day for 28 days. Add another two minutes to make it 30! 😉
Walk the dog – pick up your pace or choose hilly streets for a better work-out. Your dog will love the outing while you make your huff and puff worthwhile.
Join a sporting club. It doesn’t matter how old you are, there a sporting clubs that can cater. So whether you’d like to get into over 45s soccer of under 18s netball, don’t put it off – join now for the next term or season! Take a look at hundreds of sporting clubs around Sydney, right here.
Watch your fave TV show while doing bodyweight-bearing exercises. You’ll be so engrossed in the storyline, you won’t feel the burn, and before you know it, you will have done 30 minutes of strength training.
Toss a ball with the kids in the backyard. Play piggy in the middle – make sure you’re the Piggy and you will be hitting cardio heights in no time.
Play a game of street cricket with the kids and/or neighbours. There’s nothing like a bit of competitiveness while you get fit – why not turn it into a regular event?
Hit the treadmill while watching TV, or watching/listening to video/audio tutorials for work. You could also dictate a work speech, to-do list or ideas into a Dictaphone so you don’t feel like you’re eating into too much work time.
Get up 30 minutes earlier or go to bed half an hour later, so you can get that half an hour in. Sounds simple enough, but if you need an alarm in the morning or a nudge from a family member after dinner to do it, then take all the help you can get.
Work-out in your lunch hour. Half an hour for exercise, and half an hour for lunch.
Park a little further from the kids’ school or work and walk to and from your destination. If you live in a city, you probably already do this!
Don’t let bad knees become your excuse not to work-out. Here are eight cardio exercise for people with bad knees.
Vacuum the house an extra time each week. You’ll have a cleaner house and get a great work-out. Don’t forget those ceiling cobwebs and dusty tops of the skirting boards and windowsills!
Have a goal. A weight-loss goal or a plan for a six-pack will motivate you to juggle your daily schedule to make the time to work out.
Go to a park and play fetch with the dog. You’ll get in some exercise and your best mate will love you for it.
Enlist a co-worker, friend or family member to work out with you. If you’re guilted into exercise, you will be less likely let down someone you care about by not going ahead with it.
Choose a different activity that will provide you with new inspiration. Indoor rock-climbing or rowing, for example.
Aim to swim at least 15 laps each day. If you fail, put a dollar in a jar for each lap you miss, which can only be used towards gym fees.
Wear a pedometer or fitness watch (such as a Fitbit). This will make you more accountable and you will get to know how many steps you do/kilojoules you burn in 30 minutes.
Take exercise clothing to work or on a holiday, so that you can get your fit on at any time. An early morning walk along a beach, or run through a new neighbourhood will make you feel great.
Don’t sit on the sidelines while your kids play sport. Walk up and down the sidelines – carry some hand weights to make you work harder.
Break up the 30 minutes into three 10-minute blocks. You’d be surprised how easy exercise is to achieve when it’s broken up into ‘sessions’. You could walk for 10 minutes around a shopping centre, or to where your car is parked. Just try and make sure at least one 10-minute block is high-intensity exercise.
Make regular chores a work-out. Do squats and side lunges as you wash up or brush your teeth; walk around the house or yard while you’re talking on the mobile; do low squats as you reach for clothes from the washing basket to hang on the line. All these minutes of exercise will add up.
Try some office chair fitness. Do scissor kicks and circles with your legs (keeping your core engaged), and hold your glutes for 10-second blocks. Also, try a few ab crunches by lifting your knees together (use the desk to support your hands, if you like).
Join a friend a few evenings a week for an after-dinner walk around the neighbourhood. You can catch up on the goss while maintaining your fitness.
Hit the garden! Pruning, mowing the lawn and weeding are all great forms of exercise. You’re bound to feel a little muscle soreness the next day…
Cycle to the local shops or other destination instead of driving. As a bonus, you’ll save on fuel.
Stay after school with your kids for a little while to play in the playground – think of games such as hopscotch and tag. And simply kicking a ball around the oval is an easy way to get physical.
Got any other great suggestions for fitting in 30 mins of exercise? List them in the comments below.